Cats can spend the whole year outside surviving. However, drastic temperature drops can impact their quality of life. Therefore, they will need to get warmth, stay dry, and find food. This is the point animal lovers kick in to help them stay safe and well-fed with lots of things they can do before the freezing cold.
How to Care For Outdoor Cats in Cold Weather
Winter may be the most challenging time for animals and people who have a soft spot for them. However, most of the time, these animal lovers are the reason why outdoor cats can overcome winter cold. As the cold can pose a risk for cats, people can provide them with a warm space, heated food, or water to ease winter’s toughness. Especially for kittens, a human touch of shelter and food can be crucial. Let’s look at what we can do for our furry friends in winter.
- Shelters to keep them warm and dry
Warm and dry shelters are the first things to come to mind when you want to protect cats from the cold. Shelters are supposed to provide a warm and dry space for cats to escape rain or snow. They should comply with some criteria to reach their goal, though. For example, cat shelters should not be standing somewhere that can be soaked when it rains or snows. You should use straw and wallpaper, not towels or blankets, to keep the shelter warm.
- Heated bowls for food and water
As the weather can get really harsh, providing food and water for cats may not be enough sometimes. Especially wet cat food can freeze quickly and become uneatable. Therefore, providing food and water in heated bowls is essential. You can use thick and deep plastic containers or solar-heated bowls to prevent freezing. However, if you insulate the shelter well, you can use ordinary bowls on the condition that they are not placed in the doorway of the shelter.
- Protected feeding stations
Apart from the shelters and heated bowls, all outdoor cats need well-protected feeding stations so that they will not have to walk for a long time in the freezing cold to find food. Feeding stations should also be placed in protected areas to prevent them from soaking under rain and snow or tumbling down because of the excessive wind.
- Cleared shelters and feeding stations
During winter, shelters and feeding stations should be cleared of snow and mud. Snowstorms can close down the shelter entrances or bury the food and water bowls in the snow. Therefore, shelters and feeding stations should be followed up after their installation. You can clear the entrances and place fresh food and water in the bowls. These heavy weather conditions may result in some sicknesses in cats. If you find a cat that needs help, we are ready to offer our services.
- Sending the cat away from your car
Cats can prefer car engines as shelters when they have nowhere else to take cover. This can happen during the whole winter; therefore, you should definitely check under your car and the engine. Even if there is no cat in sight, you should tap the hood a few times so that if there is a hiding cat, it understands that it is time to go out. For more tips to care for outdoor cats, click here.
- Do these on a daily basis.
Winter is not a short time period. It can get really harsh and brutal to get through. Therefore, providing shelter and food or water bowls one day, clearing the shelters and feeding stations another day, or checking under your car once will not just make it.
All of these should be done on a daily basis so that it can be sustainable. Otherwise, bowls will get empty, shelters will get snowed in, and cats may shelter under your car every day. As Acoma Animal Clinic, we are ready to accompany your journey with our services, from vaccination to wellness and preventive care.
Last Words on How to Care For Outdoor Cats
Outdoors can be challenging for stray animals, even for cats that are known to be able to adapt to pretty much everything. However, winters can get so harsh that little furry friends need humans to provide them shelter, food, and water to survive the cold. As winter lasts at least three months, we are supposed to remember to care for them every single day. Acoma Animal Clinic is here to care about every outdoor animal you bring to us for treatment and love.